Notes: Saddam Hussein cannot help himself from helping possibly his worst enemy, George W. Bush. Therein lies some ironic comedy.

Many believe that Republicans -- who swept the November elections -- have benefitted from the nation's attention to possible war with Iraq. Associated Press reporter Paul Singer wrote on Dec. 3, 2002, in the Houston Chronicle that "[d]emocratic presidential hopeful John Kerry said Tuesday that President Bush has used the threat of war in Iraq to distract attention from the nation's economic problems."
Singer went on to quote Kerry as saying "They [the Bush team] sat down in August and made a conscious decision to bring that up and to dominate the discussion with Iraq."

Whether or not there was a conscious decision to make Iraq the dominant issue, Republicans did benefit from it. Conventional wisdom holds that the American public trusts the GOP with national security more than the Democrats. Of course, Iraq as a political plus is not something that has escaped the eye of Bush's brilliant political strategist Karl Rove. He has talked about it before.

Rove has been described by former Bush administration member John J. Dilulio Jr., as "enormously powerful, maybe the single most powerful person in the modern, post-Hoover era ever to occupy a political-adviser post near the Oval Office." This quote is from the Dec. 1, 2002, New York Times story about an interview done with Dilulio by Ron Suskind for an article in Esquire magazine.

In the piece DiIulio is quoting as calling the Bush staff "Mayberry Machiavellis." By Dec. 3, 2002, The Washington Times reporter Joseph Curl reported that Dilulio had disclaimed the piece. In fact his apology was so profound that one could easily believe that Rove is in fact "enormously powerful." In his apology, reported in the article, DiIulio said, "I regret any and all misimpressions. In this season of fellowship and forgiveness, I pray the same." Whoa. Whatever the case, Rove is good.